Needle Tart

If I'm not knitting or sewing something, I must be cooking something!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bemusement

Some rather......odd....things happened in school yesterday, and I thought I'd get your take on them. Please believe that I know the people involved had only the best intentions but.....well, you judge.
One of the teachers (a lovely person, always very kind) told me that he/she (to protect the innocent) is "honored" to know me. Now comes the......odd....part. Honored, not because I am a fine and dedicated teacher or a really nice person, but because I am......wait for it...... one of the Chosen People. I said, "Um, Thank you?" and tried to change the subject. When I told the family at dinner, they had a sort of stunned look on their faces and then they laughed (thank G-d I didn't laugh at school, he/she would have been so hurt). Really, it's kind of like being honored to know someone because they have red hair. Being Jewish is just what I am. How I act is a result of that, true, but I could be a nasty "Chosen Person". They do exsist. Just like the occasional nasty Christian, Buddist, Hindu, etc.
In another occurence, an aide (again one of the sweetest people I know) gave me a pair of mitten Christmas Tree ornaments that were knit for me because I am such a good knitter. The kicker was that the mittens had: red ("For the blood of our Savior"), green ("For everlasting life") and white ("For His purity") stripes on them. Now, I don't do a tree at all. No whining, it's just not something we do Chez Needletart. The most stunning statement was, "I know you must belive in Our Lord because of the way you treat the children." Um.....No? Really. Jewish. Totally. (and this person knows I am Jewish, we had talked about my Temple and Rabbi). I couldn't crush this sweet person, so I just said, "Thank you?" again.
Now for the question. Did I do the right thing? Should I have (as gently as possible) educated these people? I know they meant well, they really did. Should I just leave them wandering around in this state? I sort of figured that it's the holiday season and why confuse them, but what if they come out with this sort of thing to someone who is less patient?
Just for the record: I am one of the Choosing People. G-d gave me a brain and the choice to follow His laws. Every time I choose to be kind, I am following His laws. When I am nasty, it's my fault and I should correct it. As for Jesus, nice boy, good Rabbi, possibly the best person that ever lived. The Messiah? Not so much.

8 Comments:

Blogger confiance said...

He!!! I am totally snickering here. Any other time of year, I would have corrected them. Around now, they'd probably chalk up such a correction to the Holiday grumpyness or something of that sort.

People make me laugh. I'm a Jewish Studies minor, cause that's where all the Holocaust classes are listed. I'm not Jewish, but I've slept through (early) classes a few times on Jewish holidays.. and my teachers just assumed I was observing the holiday. I suppose I ought to correct them, but it only happens once per professor, so maybe I'll just take the free skip?

6:03 AM  
Blogger Lene Andersen said...

Ah, yes. When to educate and when to just say "thanks" and then tell all your friends about the - a-hem - blessed twits (there's a recurring joke in the Chosen People comment, isn't there? For moments where you want to feel all superior ;)).

I'm with you - it's the holidays and it's kinder to just say thanks. You can educate throughout 2007 and hopefully avoid a repeat next year.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Amy Lane said...

Ooooh...that's a toughie...we live in what I like to call 'the Nor-Cal bible belt' and I have known a couple of Jewish folks who've had to deal with being a very dedicated minority--they usually end up developing a few stock (and snappy) come-backs to the well meaning red-neck who just doesn't get the whole 'cultural diversity' idea...but then, I've noticed that Californians can be blunt to the point of rudeness about such things. I might have said, "Thanks--it was a real mitzvah (sic?) for you to think of me." (And honestly, as someone who is, nominally at least, Christian, I still might have said, "Wow--I'm betting Jesus isn't so thrilled about that whole blood thing..." Besides being really ethno-centric, the hard core Bible-belters can be soooooooooooooo sappy. I'll shut up now before I get kicked out of my own religion.) Anyway, you may just want to throw an educational tag onto the 'thanks'--like, "I think it was the Puritan's who believed in pre-destination--I kind of chose my faith all on my own." or "The mittens are awesome--I'll remember you every Channukah!" But you seem like much too nice a person for that--I'm sure you handled it much better than I would.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Wow! When I was in high school we lived in the deep south (Opelika, Alabama---next to Auburn) for three years. We had to drive an hour to Columbus, GA to go to temple. I haven't heard anything that stupid/ignorant in over 20 years!! Obviously they both meant well but I am just flabberghast that you would hear things like that in 2006 and in Pennsylvania. I was raised Jewish but have since become a Christian. Even as someone who believes in Christ that whole symbolism of blood and body is, how shall I put this?...in less than good taste and more than a little over-the-top.

Well, at least you got a laugh and a good story out of the whole thing. As far as educating some people goes...there are some people out there who are those most in need of an education and least likely to ever attain one. Don't waste your time.

Here's to an equally bizarre and funny new year!

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

1. You did the right thing. Receiving a gift, the proper response is "thank you", and then you come tell us about the weirdness of it. ;) (okay, I'm done being Miss Manners now)

2. BWA HA HA. Something similar happened to my husband the other day. A co-worker came up to him and said "All Jews are so smart and wealthy". My husband just kind of looked at him oddly and then wondered if he should report this to HR as harassment, and then just decided to go refill his coffee and ignore it.

What is with people?

5:45 AM  
Blogger Coach Susan said...

LOL!!! That is the funniest thing I've ever read. Wiping tears and nose over here.

I think you handled The Others just fine. Let it be someone else's karma to be nasty or impatient with them. Though, I'm not sure it matters if anyone ever is. They seem to have made it quite far in life with their, um, innocent understanding of things. I'm not convinced they'd know they were being blasted.

And I just have to say how much I enjoy Blogger's word verifications. Some of them are downright pronounceable. Today's, for example: flgaesy. Sounds like something a lover would profess to feeling for his beloved in a Shakespeare comedy, doesn't it?

11:30 AM  
Blogger marie in florida said...

my son says he is "cynical humanist". faced with someone who comments that he really must "believe in our lord" and that she was sure someone as nice as he wouldn't go to hell, his response was to tell her that perhaps she really didn't believe in her own religion or understand it fully. THAT is what happens when someone who isn't as patient as you gets into that situation.
you done good.

6:29 AM  
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3:15 AM  

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